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Many people casually interchange the terms “rug” and “carpet” when talking about floor coverings. Yet as you shop around, you’ll quickly discover there are significant differences.

A rug is typically woven and not designed to cover a full surface, while carpeting is intended to cover the floor below. Carpets also have a tufted or looped appearance with a defined base. These factors result in a full floor covering that stays in place.

Beyond these basics, learn more about the key differences between rugs and carpet.

What Is a Rug?

By definition, a rug is a piece of woven fabric for covering part of a floor. It’s intended to serve as a surface covering, but only in specific instances:

  • Mobility: You should be able to pick up and move a rug around your home. In terms of lifestyle, rugs are ideal as a temporary floor covering if you move often.
  • Size: The typical rug is about six feet long and can cover an area up to 40 square feet. Even when you lay it underneath furniture, you’ll be able to see the floor material.
  • Décor: Rugs are often treated like décor, from how one complements your living space to hanging oriental rugs on the wall as pieces of art.
  • Practical: Certain materials like jute and wool serve functional purposes. For example, lessening dirt tracked into your home near a doorway.
  • Variety: When shopping for a rug, you’ll find a wide range of thicknesses, materials, patterns, colors, sizes and purposes. Think about why you want or need a rug, then consider the aesthetic factors of your space.

What Defines a Carpet?

Carpets are unlike rugs in several ways. For one, they are secured to the floor so they do not roll, bunch up or move around. Secondly, carpets have thicker construction with a solid backing. They cover rather than accent the floor and are custom-sized to fit wall-to-wall.

Carpets also have less variety than rug inventory and require a greater degree of cleaning. Other factors to consider include:

  • Pile: Low-pile materials shed less, while high-pile options like shag carpet tend to shed more, requiring additional maintenance.
  • Material: Since carpets are “permanent”, consider material in relation to the room. Wool has the greatest durability, while synthetics like polyester show wear sooner.
  • Maintenance: A rug can be shaken out and vacuumed, but carpets require more intensive care. Vacuuming and regular shampooing may be needed for certain materials and piles.

Whichever option suits your home the best, explore area rugs and broadloom carpeting at Kaoud Rugs. Visit our showroom in Guilford or Orange today!